Model 202 telephone
The model 202 telephone was a desktop telephone produced by Western Electric from 1930 through ca. 1937. Refurbished units appeared into the 1950s. It was a modified version of the 102-type telephone, and contained newly developed anti-sidetone circuitry to reduce electronic feedback from the transmitter (mouthpiece) to the receiver (earpiece). This sidetone created an unpleasant experience for users, hearing their own voice very loudly, and causing them to lower their own speech volume to unacceptable levels.
The model 202 telephone, like the 102, consisted of the desk top set, containing only the dial, the handset with integrated receiver and transmitter, a handset cradle with hook-switch, and a physically separate subscriber set (subset) which contained the ringer and the electrical components to interface the desk set with the telephone network.
The first versions of the 202 were produced by installing into existing model 102s newly developed circuitry that cancels a major fraction of sidetone feedback into the receiver. The first generation of 102s and 202s featured a circular base, referred to as the B1 mount, redesigned from the candlestick telephone. In 1930, a new elliptical base was developed, referred to as the D1 mount. This base was designed to resolve problems with the circular base, such as instability when dialing. This new D1 base would remain the mounting paired with the E1 handset for the remainder of the 202's production run.
With the introduction of anti-sidetone circuits, Western Electric began assigning assembly codes to telephones based on the electrical configuration. Until then, telephones were primarily referred to by the part numbers used to construct them. The B1 or the D1 type base without anti-sidetone circuitry became the 102-type telephone, while the same external components with a new induction coil and wiring for anti-sidetone operation became known as the 202-type telephone.
The E1 handset was originally manufactured with a transmitter assembly that was mounted inside a hollow enclosure known colloquially as a spit cup, which would focus sound more effectively to the transmitter. The transmitter element exhibited a cone shape in the spit cup and is known as a bullet transmitter. This feature was eliminated about halfway through the handset's production run in 1934, when the transmitter element was changed to a more efficient model (F1) with better voice reproduction. The F1 element was flat and was covered by a simple plastic screen and metal grid. This element became the standard transmitter of a new handset model (F-type) in the late 1930, and was in use in the Bell System until the 1960s. When this new handset became available, 202-type telephones were routinely refurbished with the new handset.
The vast majority of the original production run of the 202-type telephones were produced in black finish. For an extra fee, telephones and subscriber sets could be ordered in numerous other colors, both flat colors or hues with metallic luster. Barbara Stanwyck talked on an ivory 202 telephone in the 1948 motion picture Sorry, Wrong Number.
In 1955, Western Electric reissued the 202 in an effort to use up existing parts stocks, and to satisfy the growing demand for color telephones, while new manufacturing processes were completed to produce the new line of color sets based on the model 500 telephone. The Continental line was created from a D1 base with an F1 handset, and was available painted in primarily ivory, green, red, and black, but other colors were available. The Silver Continental was a D1 base, plated in silvery rhodium and coupled with an ivory painted or molded ivory plastic handset. The Imperial was a rhodium-plated base sprayed with gold lacquer, which was also supplied with an ivory painted or molded ivory plastic handset.
- Western Electric Telephone Models — A look at the evolution of Western Electric's dial telephones